How to become a Debt Collector

Debt collectors assist in the retrieval of money owed by debtors from overdue accounts, unpaid loans or other debts. They may contact the debtor, advise them of debts and arrange for payments to be made.

Personal requirements of a Debt Collector

  • Good negotiation skills
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Good research skills
  • Patient and persistent
  • Able to abide by strict regulations
  • Good computer and internet skills

Education & Training for a Debt Collector

To become a debt collector you usually have to complete a VET qualification in mercantile agents or financial services. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a debt collector through a traineeship in Mercantile Agents or Credit Management. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

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Duties & Tasks of a Debt Collector

Debt collectors may perform the following tasks:

  • contact debtors and inform them of debts
  • liaise with debtors, clients, process servers and solicitors
  • provide information on debts
  • prepare summonses and statements of claim for filing at court
  • locate debtors and convey demand for payment
  • put a settlement proposal or alternative payment arrangement to the debtor
  • sight, inspect or recover a security interest.

Working conditions for a Debt Collector

Debt collectors often work in situations that can be stressful and must be able to maintain their professional conduct at all times. They may be required to work in the evenings or on weekends. The work may involve a lot of travelling to meet clients or debtors. The work of debt collectors is increasingly specialised. Some debt collectors work in offices or call centres while others are required to visit debtors at their home or workplace.

Employment Opportunities for a Debt Collector

Debt collectors may work for a variety of employers, including investigation agencies, insurance companies, private businesses and individuals. Those based in larger cities tend to specialise in a particular industry or in assisting litigation procedures.


Repossession Agent

A repossession agent collects security goods, such as property or vehicles, when debtors are unable to repay their debts.

Additional Information
The debt collection industry is jointly regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) at national level, and by licensing authorities at state level. Depending on your state or territory, you may need to hold a licence, pass checks or meet requirements such as minimum age.
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